This is not a recap-just some thoughts I had after watching this heart-wrenching episode of Private Practice.
Recently a couple of primetime dramas have chosen to deal with the subject of Rape by taking a character in their show and having them get raped and show how it has changed the character and the show because of that experience. Now, typically, I do not like it when a show tries to go down that path because rape is such a sensitive subject and sometimes TV shows can gloss it over without dealing with the implications of what rape truly does to people (thankfully this didn’t happen with 90210 like I feared it might.) When I heard that Shonda Rhimes was going to tackle a rape storyline on Private Practice, I’ll admit, I breathed a sigh of relief.
No one, and I mean No One, can tackle controversial topics like mass shootings, murder, ripping an unborn baby out of pregnant woman, suicide, and now rape, the way Shonda Rhimes can and I wouldn’t trust that type of storyline with anyone else. Shonda Rhimes is a woman who cares about these issues and wants to have her audience understand the importance of what these issues do to people. She just had Seattle Grace experience a mass shooting where Derek and Karev were shot and no one walked out of that hospital the same. She restarted Grey’s Anatomy to make it good again. That episode was game changer for Grey’s and this episode was a game changer for Private Practice. No one will ever be the same after this episode because Charlotte is such a pivotal character, she isn’t the main character, but she is certainly a pivotal one.
One thing that I thought was great about the episode was that it picked up moments after the attack. It didn’t skip a month or even a few hours later, it literally picked up from the moment after it had happened. Because of this the audience really got to see what happens after someone goes through that type of ordeal. It happened to Charlotte, a woman so in control and confident, and to see her completely lose control and at the same time try so desperately to keep it to keep her from losing her sanity, was utterly heartbreaking.
I absolutely loved that KaDee Strickland (Charlotte) really grasped the role of a rape survivor. One of my favorite lines of the night (and probably the saddest) was when Charlotte screamed at Cooper that if he ever called her a “victim” again that the wedding was off. They hate that word and you know what, who could blame them? I would hate it too and I am glad that Charlotte delivered that message loud and clear.
KaDee Strickland was amazing last night and I feel like we are going to see great things from her as her story progresses this season. This experience will stay with her forever and once everyone else finds out that she was indeed raped, it will stay with them too. I would not be surprised in the least, if KaDee gets nominated for an Emmy next year for her performance; she is defiantly the most talented actress on that show and Charlotte is by far the best character. I hope she will be able to find peace and that Cooper will be there to protect her always!
~Kate Walsh was exceptional tonight. She really grasped the role of someone who wanted to understand but couldn’t because she never went through an experience like that. Her scene with Charlotte when Addison told her that she wanted Charlotte to get help was amazing. Both KaDee and Kate really nailed that scene perfectly.
~ I think I am a little mad at Shonda for forever ruining my perfect image of Xander (Nicholas Brendon). He terrified me as the rapist, Lee, who was a very deranged man.
~I LOVED that Shonda casted Mac from Friday Night Lights( Blue Deckert) to play the detective. Man he really nailed his scenes as a law enforcement officer who wanted to keep Lee locked up, but knew the reality that if no one called in the Rape, they could do nothing. You could tell that it made him sick to his stomach that eventually he would have to let Lee go.
I like that Shonda isn’t afraid to use traumatic experiences like mass shootings and rape to move her story forward and to grow her characters. Look what last years season finale did to Grey’s; it seriously improved that show after it had sunk for a couple of seasons, all of the characters are completely changed and, almost, for the better. Private Practice has always been a mediocre show but I think this story might really improve the show and allow it to seriously move forward.